Saturday 15 October 2011

327 The Time Monster Episode Four

EPISODE: The Time Monster Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 10 June 1972
WRITER: Robert Sloman
DIRECTOR: Paul Bernard
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Myths & Legends: The Time Monster, Underworld & The Horns of the Nimon
Episode Format: 525 video RSC

Yates & his men are injured by an explosion: a local farmer recalls a doodlebug exploding on the same spot in 1944. The Tardis is dragged out the mud by a tractor. The Doctor locks his Tardis onto the Master and dematerialises. The Doctor materialises round the Master's Tardis by accident, but also inside it. The Master uses the crystal to freeze the approaching Unit forces in time. Benton, Stuart & Ruth break into the lab holding the Master at gunpoint before he escapes fleeing into the Tardis and dematerialising. Discovering the frozen Unit troops they decide to turn the transmitter off but it doesn't unfreeze the troops. Trying to unfreeze the troops Stuart & Ruth accidentally de-age Benton to babyhood. The Doctor leaves his Tardis to talk to the Master who summons Kronos which consumes him taking him into the time vortex into which the Master casts the Doctor's Tardis containing Jo Grant.....

Deary Lord I'm struggling with this story. This episode in particular was dire. Lots of standing round talking when we could have just cut to the chase and gone straight to Atlantis. I know lots of people love the exchanges between the Master & the Doctor but I just found it juvenile and a waster of time.

Still it gives us a good look at the new Tardis set in both it's incarnations doubling as the Doctor & Master's Tardis. They're shot with the doors at different ends of the set and with different Time Rotors in place: The Master's looks uncannily like a chocolate fountain! It's been described as the "Washing up bowl" Tardis set due to the three dimensional shape of the roundels and you can see why. One of the roundels holds the Tardis scanner screen, done using CSO, which features heavily in this episode. Unfortunately when the Doctor enters the Tardis you can see the brief woodland set, built outside for background, through the walls. This is the only appearance of this Tardis set: it was damaged in storage and not used again.

Things Philip learnt from this Doctor Who episode (albeit many years ago): What a Coccyx is.

George Lee, who appears in this episode as a Farmworker, was in the opening third Doctor story the Spearhead from Space as Corporal Forbes, the soldier who sends the poacher on his way and is in charge of the party that shoot the Doctor.

This episode is actually a significant milestone: It's the last episode with the entire "UNIT family" in. Richard Franklin is absent from the rest of this story and while Roger Delgado returns for one more appearance after this in Frontier in Space, UNIT do not feature in that story. In fact the last time they were all in the studio together was for recording of episodes 1 & 2, Franklin not being required for other studio blocks and only appearing on location during episodes 3 & 4.

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